Update to Mossey River Honour Roll

It’s been a while since I last updated the Mossey River Honour Roll in 2016.

With the passing of the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, I decided to make a big push to find and link all of the soldiers from the districts of:

  • Fishing River,
  • Fork River,
  • Ethelbert,
  • Oak Brae,
  • Sifton,
  • Waterhen
  • Winnipegosis, and
  • Valley River.

The stats are as follows:

Waterhen02

WWI Honour Roll

Community Old Number New Number
Fishing River 0 1
Fork River 17 30
Ethelbert 0 10
Oak Brae 0 1
Sifton 0 28
Winnipegosis 35 101
Valley River 0 5
Total 52 178

That’s one hundred and twenty-six new names I’ve added!

There are still eighteen individuals who I have been unable to find documents for, but I haven’t exhausted all the venues yet. I’m going to do some cross-referencing to see if I can locate the missing documents. Additionally, there could still be some soldiers I’ve missed altogether.

How to Jelly Small Fruits

This is the second article in June of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on June 13, 1909, and is an article on the development of canning jellies and jams. Mrs. Harland also comments on the use of slang reguarding the shortening of words like ‘jelly.’

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

How to Jelly Small Fruits

IMPRIMIS, don’t sey “jell!”

Although the young housewife in Miss Alcott’s inimitable “Little Women” did bewail her evil case when her currants wouldn’t “jell,” take time to say “jelly.” At this point I digress from the main line to entreat correspondents to snatch, or make, time in writing to me to use the little personal pronoun “I.” Don’t say, “Would like to ask” or “Would say” in beginning a sentence. Write, “I should like to ask” and “I would say.” I have to supply the missing pronoun in putting MSS into printable shape. Say, likewise, in writing a recipe, “Let it stand,” instead of “Let stand.”

I believe “jell” to be a New England provincialism. Hence, “Meg’s” use of it. I have heard the shaking mold of translucent conserve offered to the guest in a Massachusetts farmhouse spoken of as “jell.” The monosyllable falls lawfully into line with other curtailed words under the new regime of orthography. When we cut off and drop into the waste basket the stately terminations of “prologue” and “catagloue” and make “thru” do service for “through,” we may be thankful to have the body of our “jelly” left to us.

A few prefatory words to the directions for putting up small fruits in this form may not be superfluous.

Not Overripe.

The berries must be fully ripe, but not what is called “dead ripe.” The old saying that currant jelly will not be firm unless put up before the Fourth of July has this proviso of perfect ripeness as a warrant. The housemother who understands her profession has learned that, in most instances there must be acid in the fruit she would jelly. Blackberries, strawberries and red raspberries, even the wild blackcap, if really ripe, do not jelly easily. The mixture of currants and raspberries, of which I shall speak presently, owes form, as well as flavor, to the red juice of the tart berry. Blackberry and strawberry jelly, if there be no addition of lemon juice or other acid, must be set in uncovered glasses in the hottest June sunshine or the vertical rays of the July sun for several days, hat evaporation may “boil down” the conserve to the right consistency. I have never been successful with peach jelly, except when lemon juice was added to the over-sweet syrup. This is the reason why the small fruits and before the sugared juice would be cooked into cloying sweetness.

Red Currant Jelly.

Gather the fruit on a sunny day. It is not necessary to strip it from the stems on which the cluster grow. In fact, the succulent stems contain an acid of their own that adds to the flavor of the jelly. Wash the fruit well, draining it in a colander, and pack into a stout stone or agate-iron jar. Put on a close cover and set the jar in a pot of cold water. The water should come more than two-thirds of the way to the top of the crock. Set the pot on the side of the range and go about your other duties for an hour or more. Then look into the jar, and crush down the heating berries with a wooden paddle. Move the kettle to a warmer place and close the jar again.

I usually heat the fruit all night, setting the pot over a very slow fire that will die down before morning. Before breakfast I visit the kitchen and examine the fruit. It is invariably broken all to pieces and, if not cold, quite cool enough to handle with comfort. It is then turned into a bag of doubled cheesecloth and suspended over a wide bowl to drip. A long-legged, backless chair is set, heels upward, on a table; the four corners of the bar are lashed to the inverted legs high enough up to allow the bowl to stand beneath. While we are at breakfast the juice drips steadily, and by the time the meal is over the pulp, or “pomace,” is almost dry. The residue of the juice is expressed by squeezing. If there be a pair of manly hands which are both willing and strong they are coaxed into service for this park of the work. A few dexterous twists of the crimsoned cloth and half a dozen mighty squeezes leave the pomace juiceless. The pulp is emptied into the garbage pail and the bag thrown into cold water to soak.

Measure the strained juice and put it over the fire in a preserving kettle. Weigh out as many pounds of sugar as you have pints of juice. Divide the sugar into three or four portions and spread each upon a platter or a shallow pan. Set these in the oven, leaving it open for the first 10 minutes and stirring several times. Close the oven when the juice in the kettle begins to simmer, but watch the contents of the platters, lest the hot sugar begin to melt. Stir often. When the juice boils hard skim off the scum, and when the boil has lasted 20 minutes dump in the hot sugar as fast as you can, stirring vigorously. After it has dissolved, which will be very soon, let the syrup boil exactly one minute.

Pour the jelly into small tumblers which you have rolled over and over in hot water to prevent cracking as the jelly fills them. The glasses must be taken directly from the hot water and filled while wet. At this stage of the process an assistant is needed to fish out the glasses and pass them to the main worker. If these rules be followed, and the fruit be ripe and not overripe, the jelly will form by the time it is in the glasses. Let it get perfectly cold; pour melted paraffine on the top of each glass and fit on metal tops or, if you have none, paste paper covers on them.

In over 45 years of jelly-making I have never lost a glass put up according to this recipe. The flavor of the fruit is preserved far better than when juice and sugar are cooked together in the old way and boiled down thick. The jelly is clear and sparking.

Keep in a cool, dry place.

Black Currant Jelly.

Make as above. It is highly recommended for coughs and as a tonic. It is more palatable if the black are mixed with a third as many red, ripe currants.

Gooseberry Jelly and Jam.

Top and tall the berries and beat them as for other jelly. They are very juicy, and if all the liquor that will flow from them after adding sugar were put with the jam it would be too thin. Therefore, turn the berries when soft and broken into a colander; let them drain without pressing or shaking. When most of the juice has run into the bowl below, empty the colander into a preserving kettle after measuring the berries. Bring to a boil; add a pound and a quarter of sugar to each pint of berries; stir to dissolving and cook steadily half an hour. Put up in jam pots, covering with paraffine, then fitting on tops.

For the jelly, strain the juice through a cheesecloth bag to get rid of the seeds that have escaped through the colander; measure it and heat as for other jelly. When it has boiled for 20 minutes stir in the heated sugar, a generous pound to each pint of juice, gooseberries being very acid.

Currant and Raspberry Jelly.

Allow one part of red currants to two of the red raspberries; heat both kinds of fruit together and proceed as I have directed.

The flavour is exquisite. It is particularly nice for jelly roll or for layer cake.

Green Gooseberries.

These may be put up in like manner, making delicious jelly for meat. The jam made of the reserved and unpressed pulp, or “pomace,” needs nearly a pound and a quarter of sugar for each pint of berries.

Red Raspberry and Pineapple Jelly.

Wash a ripe pineapple and cut it small without paring, the skin holding a peculiarly fine flavor. Set it over the fire in a farina (double) boiler and cook very tender. At the same time heat red raspberries enough to give out twice as much juice as you get from the pineapple. When all are cooked to pieces, strain and press out the juice from berries and from pineapple; mix in the proportions I have indicated and boil 20 minutes before adding heated sugar, pint for pound.

The blended flavors and acids produce a delicious jelly.

Blackberry Jelly.

This is made in the same way and subject to the same infirmity as that which attends the strawberry. It is worth putting up in liberal quantities for family use. The flavor is fine and it is extremely wholesome, also curative in cases of summer complaints. As the contents of the glasses shrink in evaporating fill one from the other. Out of a dozen glasses you may get nine when they have been sunned into consistency.

Don’t try to boil it down. You will injure the taste, darken the color and, ten chances to one, succeed in producing syrup, not jelly.

Strawberry Jelly.

Make according to the rules given for currant jelly. It is but fair to warn you that you may have to set the glasses in the sun for two or three days before the jelly will form.

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, lamb chops, johnny cake, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Caviare on toast, cold tongue, tomato and shrimp salad, thin graham bread and butter, crackers and cheese, cake and lemonade.

Dinner.
Asparagus soup, brown fricassee of chicken, green peas, mashed potatoes, berry shortcake, black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, bacon and eggs, graham bread toast, white toast, rolls, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Asparagus rolls (tips left over from yesterday), plain omelet, baked potatoes, crackers (heated) with cheese, bread pudding, tea.

Dinner.
Chicken soup (based upon fricassee), liver and bacon, pea soufflé (a left-over), baked rice, cheery pie, black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Red bananas, cereal and cream, soufflé of rice (a left-over), rolls, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Mince of liver on toast (a left-over), Welsh rarebit, cress and salad and crackers, cream pie, tea.

Dinner.
Chicken and okra soup (a left-over), beefsteak and mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, berries and cream cake, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Berries and cream with dried rusk, broiled bacon and green peppers, muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Spanish omelet, lettuce salad, cheese, biscuits, stewed rhubarb and cookies, tea.

Dinner.
Cream-of-lettuce soup, beefsteak and kidney pie (partly a left-over), stewed potatoes, young onions, mashed new turnips, berry roll with brandy sauce, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, bacon, fried mush, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Calf-s brains (fried), stuffed potatoes, turnip soufflé (a left-over), baked cream toast, canned peaches, gingerbread, tea.

Dinner.
Scotch broth, blanquette of veal, green peas, spinach, strawberry float, sponge cake, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Grapefruit, cereal and cream, pan-fish, hot biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Curried eggs, boiled rice, lettuce and green pea salad (a left-over), macaroons and iced bananas, tea.

Dinner.
Potato soup without meat, boiled cod with lemon sauce, whipped potatoes, spinach a la crème, chocolate ice cream and cake, black coffee.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, mince of veal (a left-over), waffles, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Scalloped cod in shells, potatoes a la Lyonnaise, grapefruit salad, Cassava biscuits, Camembert cheese, thin bread and butter, junket, jelly roll, tea.

Dinner.
Salmon bisque, mutton chops en casserole, green peas, string beans, tutti-frutti in grapefruit shells, jumbles, black coffee.

Robert Colin Wood (1898-1918)

I am going to write about my maternal 2nd cousin 3x removed, Robert Colin Wood (1898-1918).

Robert Colin Wood was born 8 Dec 1898 in a place called Jackfish, Ontario, some 244km east of Thunder Bay. The place is now a ghost town but was once a port of commercial fishing and to receive coal for steam trains travelling on the CPR.

SHTC002349922

Canadian Pacific Railway Station Building at JackFish
7 Sep 1900

His parents were William Samuel Wood (1868–1901) and Martha Ritchie (1871–1906) and he was an only child.

Robert’s parents were married 18 Nov 1891 in Ross, Renfrew North, Ontario in the place where his mother lived and grew up.

In the 1901 census, the Wood family lived in the CPR community of Schreiber, Ontario, which was about 40km west of where Robert was born.

1901 Census

1901 Census

The census data was collected on May 28th, however, only five months later, William would be dead.

At the age of 33, William, who worked on the railroad as an engineer, was killed in an accident on 6 Oct 1901 in Port Arthur, Ontario. It appeared he survived the accident itself but succumbed to exhaustion following train injury, fracture spine, chest, and head.

I have yet to find any mention of an accident around this date.

The next time I find Robert he is living with his paternal aunt and uncle, Martha Wood (1874-) and Richard Groggin (1871-) in the 1911 census in York. The pair had married in 1894, a few years after William and Martha, in Port Arthur. In this record, Richard is documented as working as a conductor and his wife, a housekeeper.

1911censusgroggins

1911 Census

Martha and Richard can also be found living in Schreiber, Ontario in the 1901 census. They had staying in their home at the time, Martha’s mother Melissa (1845-1924), and her two sisters, Christina (1880-) and Clara (1887-) who were working as domestics.

1901censusgroggins.png

1911 Census

The reason why Robert was now living with his aunt and uncle in 1911 was for the fact that his mother, Martha, had died of heart failure on 31 Jan 1906. His mother’s death came only three months after she’d remarried Alex McFarlone in Port Arthur.

The last census record that Robert is documented in is the 1916 census of the prairies where he’s living with his aunt and uncle in Rocanville, Saskatchewan. In addition to his adoptive parents, also living in this household is Martha (1903-) his adopted sister and well as his grandmother Melissa. It seems Richard changed occupations and was now a farmer.

1916censusgroggins.png

1916 Census

On 20 Mar 1917, Robert ventured to Regina where he signed his attestation papers and joined the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. His regimental number was: 1069577. Robert was a private of the 249th Battalion who was transferred to the 15th Canadian Res. Battalion on 4 Mar 1918 in Bramshott and then to the 28th Battalion (Saskatchewan Regiment) on 10 May 1918.

Robert entered the battlefield on 22 May 1918 in France. About a month and a half later, on 12 Aug 1918, Robert received a gunshot wound to the head which he later died of on the same day.

Robert is one of 332 Canadian WWI soldiers buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension. His grave is number 5379, inscribed on the stone it reads, “Gone but not forgotten.”

Below is a transcription from the 28th Canadian Infantry Battalion war dairies. It is my assumption that Robert was one of the 20 killed in the trenches in front of Caix.

CAIX. Aug 12th 1918.

The Battalion moved into Reserve Position on the Blue Line (AMIENS Defence Line) with Brigade Headquarters at CAIX. Battalion now in trench system in front of CAIX. Estimated that Battalion captured 80 Machine Guns in the attack.

Total Casualties…..
3 Officers Killed.
3 Officers Wounded.
20 O.R. Killed.
3 O.R. Missing.
100 O.R. Wounded.

Battalion resting up from operation, reorganizing and refitting. Weather very hot. Situation quiet. Officer Commanding proceeded to O’s C. Conference at Brigade Headquarters in the afternoon.

Reinforcements 3 O.R.
To Hospital 4 O.R.
From Hospital 2 O.R.
Leave Captain A.F. Simpson and 4 O.R.
On Command 4 O.R.
5 O.R. previously reported Wounded now reported Killed 9.8.18.

Inexpensive Table Decorations

This is the first article in June of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on June 6, 1909, and is an article on the development of flowers as centrepieces.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Inexpensive Table Decorations

The fashion of decorating the family table every day in the year is so modern that middle-aged reader will recollect the birth and growth of the custom. It is not 30 years since I heard a purse-proud boor order a footman to remove from the center of his heavily laden board a vase of wild azaleas his daughter had brought in from the country, and “not to litter up the table with any more such trash.”

“The woman folks may admire to see ‘em around,” he continued to the one person who did not belong to his household. “For my part, I wasn’t fetched up to have weeds along with my vittles!”

Our forbears appreciated the fitness and attractiveness of floral ornaments upon high days and holidays. The masculine members of the family took to the innovation slowly. So they entered gradually and reluctantly into the new universal practice of setting flowers upon Protestant pulpits. One shocked elderly communicant in a sanctuary noted for the beauty of the floral offerings gracing the chancel every Sunday once wrote to me of his dislike to “the pines and posies that were distracting the minds of worshipers.”

A Historic Table.

“Other times, other manners!” Before we go into the discussion of the subject indicated by our title, let me indulge myself and the curious younger reader by copying from an old letter written by an eminent Virginia jurist to his daughter almost 100 years ago. It describes one of the highest of the holidays aforesaid, to wit, a wedding:

“We went in to supper at 11 o’clock, the ceremony having taken place at 8. The table was extremely handsome. The centerpiece was a cake, richly iced, 18 inches across and 10 inches in height, surrounded by a treble-curled fringe of silver paper. In the hollow in the middle of this cake, left by the funnel of the mould, was planted a slender holly tree, four feet high, hung with fancy baskets and wreaths and streamers of silver filigree, and closely sprinkled with red berries. At one end of the table was a tall pyramid of jelly and ice cream; at the other, one of candied oranges. They were built about smaller silver rods, and to these were fastened silver paper festoons cut exquisitely into patterns as fine as lace, connecting into patters as fine as lace, connecting the pyramids with the tree. The long table was lighted, as were all the rooms, by wax candles, in tall silver candlesticks, hung with tissue paper cut into every imaginable device, then dipped in spermaceti to make it transparent.”

A Change of Style.

All this reads like barbaric magnificence unbecoming the dawn of the 19th century and a republic. There is a touch of the meretricious in the tissue paper dipped in spermaceti. The latter-day critic in condemning this notes disapprovingly the absence of all floral decorations, unless the evergreen treelet be recokoned as one. Yet it is not very long since we carried “mixed bouquets” to parties without caviling at the setting of the tawdry paper lace encircling the stems, and, as I said just now, a shorter time since the daily custom of enlivening sober family meals with flowers and leaves became general. So general is it that in six out of 10 homes occupied by the moderately well-to-do the table has a bare and comfortless look when the vase or bowl of living greenery and blossoms is not in place.

Nevertheless, it is not blossom time all the year round, and florists raise their prices as the mercury goes down and the eyes, wearied by the prevalling leaden hue of sky and earth, crave relief that is likewise a promise of more genial season.

“Potted plants are so unsatisfactory!” mourns a correspondent whose sick chamber would be a bower of beauty if the flowers showered upon her by sympathizing friends could be coaxed into continual bloom.

“I have written to her what I now say to the housewife whose table has a rueful expression when there are no flowers to grace the meal:

“Turn your attention to ferns and miniature jardineres.”

A tiny terra-cotta jardiniere filled with garden soil upon a substratum of broken pottery or pebbles, that prevent the mould from caking at the bottom, may be set with ferns that will live all the winter through. If you care to cover the box with a bell-glass, the life and the brighter verdure of the fern are doubly assured.

One of the most interesting table decorations I have is a globular vessel, with a top of the same material. In the bottom is put, every October, a bed of forest moss an inch or so in thickness. In this are set partridge-berry shoots studded with berries. The top is then laid in its place and the lobe is brought indoors. Every Saturday morning I take it into the bathroom and fill the globe with fresh water, leave it thus for a minute—no longer—and drain the water off leaving the moss soaked through. All winter the berries have remained bright, and wee, threadlike shoots trail themselves over the moss, pressing emulously against the glass as the spring comes on, I have reproduced, in milature, a woodland nook, kept green by a hidden spring, where wildings cling and grow.

My magic crystal, which does all this fairy work for me “when now lies on the hills.” Is now in the third year of service as a faithful standby tree times a day, when other decorations are not procurable. It cost $1 when new.

Now that the hills rejoice on every side with flowers that seem to have throbbed into life and loveliness from the beatings of the mighty heat beneath them, there is no excuse for an unsmiling expanse of tablecloth. Beginning with pussy-willows and rising in the motif of the annual oratorio of the resurrection of the beautiful, through the revelation of crocuses, apple blossoms, tulips, hyacinths, wild roses and honeysuckle to the glory of midsummer, flowers may be had for the making and gathering.

From the saucer of moss in which nestle blue-eyed houstonia, shy, yet easily entreated if supplied with water and the velvet duvet in which their roots awoke to life, to the great bowl of June roses we may luxuriate in home decorations.

Wayside Blossoms.

They lend poetry to plain living; they rest the eye and feed the fancy. Then will come the lavish wealth of the golden-rod and “The aster of the woods,” the purple and gold in which Mother Earth bedecks herself for a brave, brief season. When they have passed we shall have witch hazel and autumn leaves to cheer cottage and mansion.

Never set a meal in order without the touch of brightness and true refinement imparted by God’s unfailing messengers to those who will receive the story they have to tell. If it be only a bunch of yarrow from the dusty roadside, or a stately stalk of iris from the marsh, or a handful of ox-eyed daises brought in by a little dirty hand “just for mother,” make the best of it. Let it be your token—

“That God is thinking of His World.”

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Blueberries and cream, dried rusk eaten with the berries, broiled chops, graham gems, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Stuffed tomatoes, filled with minced ham, with a baked egg on top of each; Saratoga chips, brown bread, cut thin; crackers and cheese, pineapple, cut into dice, with sugar and wine; cake, tea.

Dinner.
Green pea soup, with croutons; stuffed and baked weakfish, with Bearnaise sauce; mashed potatoes, cream beans, berry shortcake (hot), with sauce; black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, bacon, French rolls, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Creamed fish (a left-over), potato croquettes (a left-over), baked toast, caramel custard, cookies, cocoa.

Dinner.
Pea and tomato soup (partly a left-over), veal stew, with carrots and dumplings; cream beans, warmed over; potato salad, berry pie, black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, farina and cream, cheese omelet, cold brown and white bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Yesterday’s stew, stuffed potatoes, toasted cheese sandwiches, lettuce salad, strawberries and cream, wafers, tea.

Dinner.
Cream of lettuce soup, calf’s liver en casserole, stewed tomatoes, spinach, poor man’s pudding, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Grapefruit, cereal and cream, codfish balls, corn bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Mince of liver (a left-over), puffed potatoes, English muffins, toasted; stewed fruit and cake tea.

Dinner.
Okra soup, fricasseed (not stewed) chicken, boiled rice, breaded and fried carrots, berries and cream, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cracked wheat and cream, drop cakes, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Cold meat, rice croquettes (a left-over), baked potatoes, syllabub and sponge cake, iced tea.

Dinner.
Yesterday’s soup, curried chicken (a left-over), Spanish rice, baked bananas, cornstarch hasty pudding, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, shirred eggs, potatoes biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Clam fritters, hot potato biscuits (from breakfast), Spanish salad, crackers and cream cheese, junket and macaroons, tea.

Dinner.
Fish bisque, halibut steaks, whipped potato, green peas, strawberry ice cream and cake.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and eggs, muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Hashed fish (a left-over), hominy pudding, anchovy toast, cress and lettuce salad, crackers and cheese, iced lemonade and cake.

Dinner.
Barley broth, boiled mutton, butter beans, scalloped tomatoes, orange tartlets, black coffee.

“Fair Linen”

This is the final article in May of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on May 30, 1909, and is an article on laundry and use of linen and table cloths. It is Marion Harland’s opinion that a simple clean cloth is better than a “fine” dirty one.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

“Fair Linen”

ECCLESIASTICAL manuals enjoin that tables and chalices be “covered with a fair cloth.” I am using the word in a housewifely sense; that is, that the “cloth” should be free from spot or blemish and shining clean. It is not, of necessity, “fine linen,” such as takes before it, in the mind of the Bible reader, the “purple,” descriptive of Dives’ ungodly pomp.

I heard a true story the other day of a colored preacher’s version of the celebrated parable. According to him, the rich man “fared presumptuously every day.”

I have use for this malapropism here and now. The housemother who insists that her fair linen must also be fine must have a deep purse and keep it well filled, or she may be said to “fare presumptuously” in the century of advanced and sustained prices. Muslin and linen of medium quality, glossy from the smoothing iron and folded evenly when not on duty, are “fairer” than cloths of a finer mesh that are badly laundered and laid carelessly on the shelf. This is especially true with tablecloths that are awkwardly dealt with. I have in my mind’s eye a certain household, often seen in my youth, where the tablecloths were always wrinkled and tumbled.

“Miss Leslie says we must not use the word ‘mussed,’” observed a neat neighbor, quoting from her cook book, “but nothing else will describe Sarah’s tablecloths.”

A Careless Footman.

I wondered, in my inexperience, why this was true, until I bethought myself to watch the footman as he cleared the table after meals. He seized the damask cloth (always fine) in the middle, shook the crumbs out of door or window and “humped” it upon a chair or sideboard until he was ready to double it up loosely and tuck it into a drawer, where lay a dozen others, some smooth and clean, and beside them those condemned to the washtub. I formed the opinion then which I maintain up to this present writing, namely, that there is but one right way of removing a cloth from the table.

Imprimis, it should never be shaken out of the door or window. The crumbs should be removed with a folded napkin. A “scraper” of metal, be it sterling or plated, abrades the surface in time. The crumb brush, however soft, is seldom perfectly clean. In taking up the crumbs it sheds dust. The folded napkin neither scratches nor smirches. The crumbs removed, the damask must be folded in the original creases left by the iron and put away where it has room to lie out straight. Some canny housewives have a separate drawer for the cloth in use, and lay a heavy board upon it when therein bestowed. If I dwell somewhat at length upon this essential to “fair linen,” it is for economy’s sake as well as because a smooth cloth is more pleasing to the eye than one that is tumbled—“mussed,” as my old friend put it.

Glazed like Paper.

Table linen which has been treated to a bath of raw starch water and, while yet damp, ironed until the surface has the glaze of calendered writing paper, keeps clean twice as long as that which is tumbled and shaken rudely, and looks well to the last day. From another notable housemother I learned that a chance grease spot may be masked in the latter hour of active service by rubbing chalk into it before folding. By the next time of using, particularly if the application be made overnight, the alkali has eaten up the grease. The chalking makes the laundress’ task easier, also.

Napkins must not be “Starched,” in the technical sense of the term, although they take a finer gloss if dipped into the thinnest of starch water, rolled up hard, beaten lustily with the fist to insure evenness of distribution, then ironed until the requisite degree of polish is produced. They look “fairer” and will resist dirt far better than limp napkins. For be it remembered at each stage of laundering and using, that dust is dirt and that dust is everywhere. It flies off from the glossy linen; it adheres to the rough-dry.

The like rules obtain in the management of muslin sheets and pillowslips. It is a luxury to sleep in linen or in cambric sheets. A linen pillowcase is almost a necessity to healthful slumbers on summer nights. It is a “must-be” to the fevered invalid. Yet there are tens of thousands of well conducted homes in this country where the linen sheet is practically unknown and in which a few linen pillowslips are kept religiously for the sick-room. The next best thing to the cool deliciousness of the flaxen web is a cotton sheet, so smooth that it feels (almost) as good as linen and is as comely to behold.

Two correspondents have written to us of the saving of the housemother’s time and of the superior healthfulness of rough-dry sheets. One represents that the pressure of the iron, forcing the flattened threads closely together, prevents ventilation and retains the insensible perspiration that should not be left to clog the pores. Without entering into a controversy that would leave each disputant the more strongly attached to her own dogma, I may remark that is avails little for the exudations to filter through the sheet if they be then and there arrested by blanket and counterpane.

Almost Like a Dream.

Haven’t I told once here of the fond desire of my childish dreams to be a queen, and only because I was sure that she slept every night in clean linen sheets, a change for every day in the year? The fancy was recalled to me by reading, after the death of the late Queen of England, that she indulged in the luxury I had coveted, and that she was fastidious with regard to the absolute smoothness of the sheets. Two maids—so ran the tale—spent two hours daily in clipping the threads that fastened the sheet to the mattress the day before, and in stitching the fresh lower sheet in place. Not a wrinkle must mar the fair expanse of fine linen. I give the modern edition of the crumpled roseleaf story for what it may be worth. It is the more credible because every one of u would have her bed changed nightly if she could afford it. Apart from the first outlay for material, there would be the laundry bills-a bagatelle to queen and multi-millionaire, but a mountain-high impediment to the fulfilment of our desire.

With the approach of warm weather the craving for fair bed and body linen grows upon us. We read with thought that approximates pain the injunctions of the theorists who write practical housewifely articles for a woman’s page and for “Clever Cookery” and “Dorothea’s Domestic Diary” upon the danger and disgrace of changing body linen but twice per week, and bed linen but once. “My clothes abhor me!” complained poor, tortured Job. We reverse the order and hate our clothes when we lay them off at the close of the longest days upon the calendar. Sunday and Thursday mornings are the happiest days of the seven.

To Economize.

Let us reason together on this point. I know, for I, too, have heard them discourse. How it stings the self-respect of the woman who must consider laundry bills, or overrun her income continually, to hearken to the dainty, disdainful prattle of women who “cannot conceive how one can reconcile it to one’s sense of decency, not to mention health, to wear a change of underclothes more than one day at a time after June 1!” One of them habitually refers to underwear as “internal garments” in my hearing, and evidently prides herself upon the delicate and ingenious phrase.

And, indeed, why should not we imitate their custom while we ridicule their speech? Upon removing body linen at night, hang each article separately where the air will visit it freely all of that night and for 24 hours thereafter. Keep two sets on hand and in alternate use. If they hang in an airy place during the off day they will be sweet and, to all intent and purposes, clean when you put them on.

Strip the bed upon rising and hang the sheets in the wind. Take off the pillowslips, and when the pillows have been aired for an hour or more, cover then with cases kept for the day, and on which you never sleep. Let the night set air with the sheets. Turn, beat, and throw the mattress across the foot rail of the bed, where the air can get at all sides of it, and let it remain thus for several hours.

By following these precautions against stuffiness you will be as neat of body, if not as complacent of spirit, as the penny-a-liners who dictate and the ultra-fastidious few who assume to practice what the former preach.

With all my heart I love “fair linen!” But I love yet more fairness and consistency I will not preach to the woman of moderate means and six children of the insanitary “indecency” of not enduring each of the half dozen in clean clothes “from the skin out” every day in the week. I am stupid at mathematics, but I have the multiplication table tolerably well in hand, and it requires no ready reckoner to make up the laundry list of that household, allowing three “internal garments” per diem (exclusive of seven pairs of stocking a week) for each child. And the parents must not be a whit less “decent” than their offspring!

Take a paper and pencil and work out the sum for yourself, and let me know by return mail in how many households in your town or village such a “Wash” would be tolerated. Don’t’ forget to add seven pairs of sheets for each bed, pillowcases to match, and that no “self-respectable mistress of a family ever allows the same napkin to appear twice on her table without being washed.”

Nonsense, is it? Then why give ear or thought to it?

Make your linen “fair in the beginning, change it as often as you can afford to review it and keep it well aired between times.

My old colored “mammy” was oracular, and never unwise. One of her familiar sayings was: “If yo’ ken’t do as well as you wan’ to do, why jes’ do de bes’ you ken!”

Marion Harland

OTHER ARTICLES ALSO PUBLISHED…
Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Meals for a Week

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Sunday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, rolled and breaded smelts, sally lunn, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Barbecued ham, sliced and warmed sally lunn from breakfast, tomato and lettuce salad, crackers and Roquefort cheese, lemon sponge and cookies, tea.

Dinner.
Soup a la Russ (with poached eggs on top), roast chicken, green peas, spinach a la crème, strawberry shortcake, black coffee.

Monday.

Breakfast.
Grapefruit, cereal and cream, bacon, scrambled eggs, French rolls, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Shrimps on toast with anchovy sauce, baked potatoes, pea soufflé (a left-over), cream cheese, warmed, with toasted crackers and orange marmalade, cocoa.

Dinner.
Spinach soup (a left-over), mold of chicken and macaroni with gravy (a left-over), asparagus, young onions, creamed; heavenly hash, sponge cake, black coffee.

Tuesday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, bacon and sweet green peppers, fried; brown and white bread, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Mince of chicken and macaroni (from yesterday), English muffins, toasted; potato salad with mayonnaise, crackers and cheese, berries and cream, lady fingers, tea.

Dinner.
Mullagatawney soup, beefsteak, mashed potatoes, asparagus, prune and ut jelly with whipped cream, cake, black coffee.

Wednesday.

Breakfast.
Berries, rice jelly and cream, eggs baked in gravy, hot biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Beef stew, brown (a left-over), potato cakes, breakfast biscuits, warmed over; endive salad, crackers and cheese, brandied peaches and cake, tea.

Dinner.
Asparagus soup (a left-over), baked shad, green peas, whipped potatoes, French tapioca custard, black coffee.

Thursday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, shad roes, potato biscuits, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Sliced cold tongue, baked tomato toast, rice croquettes, watercress and green pepper salad, crackers and cheese, jam and gingerbread, tea.

Dinner.
Beef and barley broth, lamb chops and mushrooms, string beans, leeks, cheery tart, black coffee.

Friday.

Breakfast.
Oranges, cereal and cream, finnan haddle with sauce piquante, fried mush, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Beauregard eggs, fried potatoes, string beans and tomato salad, peanut butter sandwiches, jumbles and cocoa.

Dinner.
Split pea soup, softshell crabs, stuffed tomatoes, new potatoes, currant and raspberry, roly-poly, black coffee.

Saturday.

Breakfast.
Berries, cereal and cream, bacon, green pea pancakes (a left-over) muffins, toast, tea and coffee.

Luncheon.
Stewed kidney, baked potatoes, hot Boston brown bread, lettuce and egg salad, shortcake and tea.

Dinner.
Beef and barley soup (a left-over), calf’s liver, larded and roasted; spinach, asparagus, strawberry ice cream and cake, black coffee.